San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter

Classic Gaslamp Quarter Architecture

While Missy is getting sunburned in Hawaii, Kongo loads up a new camera and heads down to the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego.  The Gaslamp, in the center of San Diego near the waterfront and the convention center (think Comicon) is an eclectic mix of modern, kitschy, slummy, and late 19th Century.  It’s filled with characters, tourists, locals, great restaurants and bars, and shopping.  So today, being one of those perfect, mid-70s, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky, San Diego days seemed a great time to test out the new camera.  Kongo has been thinking about upgrading from his Canon 40D for several months now but couldn’t decide whether to go for all the bananas and get a Mk-V III or something similar in the full frame digital world or settle for something a little lower in food photography food chain but still loaded with scads of features.

After wavering and dithering and going back and forth, Kongo bought a Canon 7D and he’s glad he did.  He really likes the built-in 1080 HD movie capability, the super fast (8 frames per second) shutter, and he doesn’t have to go buy another $3-4,000 in new lenses to accommodate the full frame versions.  The 7D is an 18 megapixel camera with a 3:2 aspect ratio that records in JPEG and RAW formats.  It has 19 TTL auto focus points, a 3-inch LCD screen, and can shoot full HD at 30 FPS, and 1280×720 at up to 60 FPS.

Now Kongo doesn’t really know what half that stuff means but it sure sounds cool and he’s learning quickly.  The first thing Kongo noticed is that the pictures are a lot bigger (pixel-wise) and much sharper than the old camera, which still took great pictures.

There are dozens of cool little restaurants and bars throughout the Gaslamp Quarter
If you like things built in the 1890s, downtown San Diego is your kind of town.
“bite me” seems the perfect name for a place to eat
More 19th Century bricks
There has been an explosion of downtown condominiums in San Diego in the past decade. If you like urban you have plenty of choices in and around the Gaslamp Quarter
The north facade of the Horton Grand Hotel. Alonzo Horton was a big San Diego real estate developer in the late 19th century. Not only is there a Horton Hotel, but there is the iconic Horton Plaza Mall also in the Gaslamp. The Horton Grand Hotel is in the center of what used to be the red light district in San Diego during the early 1900s.
The Hard Rock Cafe in Gaslamp
Some are a bit slow recovering from a Friday night in the Gaslamp
Another condominium complex in the quarter
A view of downtown through an opening in Horton Plaza
Flags from an overhang in Horton Plaza
The Westin Hotel reflected from a building across the street
A view of the San Diego skyline from Horton Plaza
Horton Plaza
Kongo takes a quick rest atop a dog statue outside the Gaslamp Museum

Next time you’re in San Diego, be sure to visit the Gaslamp Quarter.  Great food, good music, and lots of action.  The 16 bock quarter is located in the heart of downtown and only a few minutes walk from the Convention Center or any of the big hotels on the bay.  It is listed as an historic district in the National Register of Historic Places.  Learn more about the Gaslamp Quarter here.

Travel safe.  Have fun.

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